OLCC to Growers: "I Like to Watch | Smoke Signals | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Culture » Smoke Signals

OLCC to Growers: "I Like to Watch


Licensed outdoor growers have new hoops throught which to jump, under the evil eye of Big Brother. - CANSTOCKPHOTO.COM
  • Canstockphoto.com
  • Licensed outdoor growers have new hoops throught which to jump, under the evil eye of Big Brother.

This month, a new rule went into effect for licensed outdoor cannabis growers. It's the first of its kind in the nation, and is in direct response to the pressure from the feds, starting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. To what degree it will alleviate the concerns of Sessions and Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams remains to be seen. The concerns, of course, involve our "out of control" cannabis programs.

KGW-TV in Portland reports that all licensed sun-grown (AKA outdoor) recreational cannabis growers are now required to contact the Oregon Liquor Control Commission of their plans to harvest their cannabis crops, no later than 9 am the day of the harvest. They will do so by entering their plans into the Cannabis Tracking System.

There are 23 inspectors statewide to observe and report on... what exactly?

"It's like an audit. They're going to go out and make sure that plant counts and package count match what's in the (CTS) system," OLCC spokesperson Mark Pettinger told KGW. They will match the numbers from the harvest with the final product.

KGW reported that 258 of the state's licensed outdoor recreational farms, or 65 percent of all such licenses, are located in two counties in southern Oregon, making it much easier for inspectors to audit the greatest number of harvests there. Indoor and medical growers are exempt, because, um, they just are. Not every eligible grow site will be audited.

There haven't been any reports of sun-grown licensed growers diverting product to the illicit market, but I did some checking and journalist type stuff—you're welcome—and uncovered a hot-take ground shaker:

It's suspected that the largest source of product diverted to the out-of-state black market are illegal growers. It's a pretty complex idea, but stay with me: What if the weed leaving the state is produced by people who have not invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into a highly regulated, expensive industry with low profit margins and dozens of cameras? The ones who would not stand to lose everything, simply to sell a few pounds out of state during a time when prices are at a historical low?

Thankfully, the industry expected this would be happening, as vineyards and hop farmers have had OLCC inspectors auditing grape and hop harvests for decades, along with potato and corn farmers. Oh wait... right. No, they haven't.

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Josh Jardine